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By George Grace

I wonder if the people who own and work

the length and width of this land know that,

just beyond this forest’s embrace,

amidst the banal bales of hay dotting

the dark and matted farm fields here,

the forlorn beacon lighting the garage roof there,

the promise of art lives,

now,

ten minutes after sunset,

a fleeting splendor in the ordinary,

imploring itinerant eyes to make it so.

I drove a thousand miles for a month’s work,

and with home six hundred away,

my tired heart yearned to have you beside me,

in this forsaken zip code,

mid-Kentucky, mid-winter,

the twilight cradling just enough color

to remind us of the road, the people, the day

we left behind.

When I stop to take photos

of places like these and you say,

yes, that’s a lovely scene, you should paint it,

you are my antidote to solitude.

Tomorrow, at dawn, I will likely leave

some paneled motel room

twenty dark and tortuous miles

north of this frozen moment,

head out into the fog-shrouded valleys

awash in the promise of spring’s light,

blessed that I didn’t miss this journey,

even if diminished for you not being here to tell me,

yes, it happened, and it was ours.

GEORGE GRACE will join poet and prose writer E.R. Baxter III in the next Readings at the RIC series event at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Research and Information Commons of Daemen College, 4380 Main St., Amherst. An artist and co-founder of Meridian West Gallery, he is the author of the poetry collections “American Stonehenge” and “Night Wanes, Dawn” (Writer’s Den Books, 2012). His latest book, “Steeling America – A Poetic Memoir of Lackawanna’s Bethlehem Steel Plant” was published earlier this month by Writer’s Den Books.